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Short Takes on Film 

State of the Arts

Last Thursday, about 20 people showed up at the BCA Center for the second organizational meeting of the Burlington Film Society. The form the group will take is still in question, but one thing isn’t: There are people in and around the Queen City who want more opportunities to see and talk about off-the-beaten-track films.

Last year, film scholar Barry Snyder recruited some of his fellow cinephiles to catch showings of The Tree of Life and Melancholia; the lively resulting discussions gave him the impetus to start a film society. At the meeting, Snyder encouraged attendees to see Wim Wenders’ Pina in 3-D when it plays at the Majestic 10, starting with a benefit screening this Thursday.

Eric Ford, BCA’s communication director, unveiled the new BFS Facebook page, website and Twitter feed. The film fans sketched out plans to meet at local theaters when art movies open in Burlington — then discuss them over beer or wine. Some asked if the BFS would organize its own screenings.

That’s when Mariah Riggs, director of the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, offered her expertise; she’s been running a big-screen series called Movies at Main Street Landing, with Tuesday-night offerings ranging from family films to dark classics such as Psycho and Mean Streets. The free screenings have been well attended, said Riggs, who used to program film series in the thriving Cambridge, Mass., scene. Other attendees noted that, on the other side of town, the Essex Cinemas’ Throwback Thursdays series has been popular, suggesting that not everyone is content to watch their favorites on the small screen.

At BCA, Ford programs his own themed mini-film series. For March, he’s got three “Macho Midnight Movies” from the 1980s, including John Carpenter’s B-flick classic They Live. In April, “Virtual Impact: TRON” explores “the history and use of computer graphics in cinema.” On April 13, BCA will hold a screening of the 2009 skate-themed surreal feature Machotaildrop at Merrill’s Roxy Cinemas, followed by a skate session at Maglianero.

Does Burlington need another film series? Or more advocacy, as Snyder put it, for bringing art-house flicks to town? Want someone to dissect last Sunday’s Oscars with? To join the conversation, go to the BFS’ Facebook page.

"Pina" screening benefiting local choreographer Hannah Dennison’s tribute to Pina Bausch. Thursday, March 1, 6:30 p.m. at the Majestic 10 in Williston. $20.

Movies at Main Street Landing: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (March 6) and "Annie Hall" (March 13), both at 7 p.m. at the Main Street Landing Film House, Burlington. Free, donations accepted for a local nonprofit. For more, see Info, 540-3018.

“Macho Midnight Movies:” "They Live" (March 9), "Commando" (March 16) and "Bloodsport" (March 23), all at midnight at the BCA Center, Burlington. Free. More info on April events at

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About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.


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